“And You Shall Tell Your Son”

“And You Shall Tell Your Son”

Identity and Belonging as Shaped by the Jewish Holidays

Yitzhak (Itzik) Peleg


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In this volume, Bible Studies scholar Yitzhak (Itzik) Peleg offers an educational, values-based approach to the cycle of Jewish holidays—festivals and holy days—as found in the Jewish calendar. These special days play a dual role: they reflect a sense of identity with, and belonging to, the Jewish people, while simultaneously shaping that identity and sense of belonging. The biblical command “And you shall tell your son” (Exodus 13:8) is meant to ensure that children will become familiar with the history of their people via the experience of celebrating the holidays. It is the author’s claim, however, that this command must be preceded by another educational command: “And you shall listen to your son and your daughter.”

 The book examines the various Jewish holidays and ways in which they are celebrated, while focusing on three general topics: identity, belonging, memory. Throughout the generations, observance of the holidays has developed and changed, from time to time and place to place. These changes have enabled generations of Jews, in their various communities, to define their own Jewish identity and sense of belonging.  


Yitzhak (Itzik) Peleg:

Yitzhak (Itzik) Peleg is professor emeritus of Bible Studies at the Gordon Academic College, Haifa, Israel. In addition to publishing numerous articles, Peleg is the author of ‘Go forth:’ the Forefathers’ Journeys in Bible Stories (Resling, 2013), and of Going Up and Going Down: A Key to Interpreting Jacob’s Dream (Bloomsbury, 2015). He has taught Bible to English-speaking students in Hebrew Union College, Institute of Religion, Jerusalem, and to English-speaking adult groups in Australia.

Nancy Rosenfeld is an emerita lecturer at Max Stern College of the Jezreel Valley, Israel. She has published numerous articles, and two books: The Human Satan in Seventeenth-Century English Literature ((Ashgate, 2008), and John Bunyan’s Imaginary Writings in Context (Routledge, 2018). Rosenfeld belongs to the Israel Translators’ Association.